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In my quest to move to 10 gallon batches, I’ve created an Insulated Mash Tun from a rubber-coated decommissioned 1/2 keg. I already have a 50qt aluminum kettle, but that doesn’t leave a lot of space to prevent boilover when doing 10 gallon batches. The kettle is also fairly wide and squat, which allows for a greater boiloff rate. For these reasons, I decided to make a keggle from a decommissioned stainless steel 1/2 keg. This gives me a 15.5 gallon kettle which is tall and narrow.

I started out by cutting out an approximate 12″ hole in the top of the keg using my angle grinder. After smoothing the rough edges with sandpaper, I was ready to cut some holes for a ball valve and sight glass. First thing I had to do was drill some 1/8″ pilot holes at the locations where I wanted to place the ball valve and sight glass. Drilling stainless steel is easy as long as you remember to use lots of lubricant ( I use olive oil, because that’s what I had handy ), slow speed and medium pressure on the drill.

Once the pilot holes are drilled, I used a step bit to open the holes to the final size I needed for installation. I was using a weldless bulkhead from Brewer’s Hardware that has an integral 1/2″ compression fitting for a diptube for the ball valve attachment, and a compact sight glass from Bobby_M’s website. The bulkhead required a 7/8″ hole, while the sight glass required a 9/16″ hole. Again, the secret is lots of lube, slow speed, and medium pressure.

I installed and calibrated the sight glass using Bobby_M’s excellent instruction and video, and installed the bulkhead. I had some spare 1/2″ soft copper tubing laying around, so I fashioned a field-expidient diptube. I filled it up with water, leak-tested it and heated it up. It worked like a champ.

Here are some photos of the finished product:

Keggle Keggle Diptube

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